The budget of the City Council of Santa Cruz entered into force at the end of last January. When not yet three months have elapsed, yesterday, the Consistory announced the first major budget modification to deal with works and projects that can be undertaken almost immediately. This was confirmed by the Councilor for Finance, Juan José Martínez, during the extraordinary plenary session held to account for the settlement of the budget. Precisely, the calculation of the remainder of the Treasury in that liquidation, which amounts to 26 million euros, is what allows the City Council to have additional money. Specifically, 19 million will be used for various issues. As detailed by Martínez, “the City Council wants to stimulate the city’s economy with this investment package that it can undertake thanks to the financial health that the liquidation of the budget and budgetary stability by the General Intervention of this Corporation has testified”.
Among the investments are the 932,505 euros planned for the acquisition of statues for the future Rodin Museum in Santa Cruz; the 2,372,000 euros for the purchase of the plot of land on Calle de La Rosa in order to allocate it for parking, essential for the remodeling and accessibility of this area of El Toscal, or the 1,007,552 euros for the maintenance of the schools in the municipality in the five districts, all these amounts enabled for the Heritage area and that add up to a total of 4,312,057 euros.
In another section, corresponding to the Public Services area, the purchase of buses with funds from European Next Generation, with an amount of 3,300,000 euros; the 650,000 euros provided for temporary parking on Juan Albornoz street; 420,000 euros for the remodeling of different islets; the 5,630,000 euros for the rehabilitation of pavements in the five districts of the municipality, or the enclosures of the respective Manuel Castañeda and La Estrella parks, with 136,000 and 400,000 euros.
Also included in this area is the 800,000 euros to undertake emergency works for the rehabilitation and safety of the La Ermita path, an action that will guarantee the safety of the houses and buildings located in the vicinity from the danger of landslides. In addition, 390,000 euros are earmarked for the parking lot at Las Teresitas beach, as well as 2,279,599.35 euros, to which should be added a further 677,343.65 euros from the first section, for the remodeling and updating of playgrounds, reaching thus at 2,956,9543 euros.
For the mayor, José Manuel Bermúdez, “this budget modification, which significantly increases the funds allocated to different investment projects, is one of the responses of the Santa Cruz City Council to the situation of economic uncertainty and crisis as a result of certain factors”.
The figures provided by the Treasury councilor were received by the opposition with skepticism, especially in relation to the budget execution in the real investment section, in which the three groups (PSOE, UP and Cs) asked Martínez for explanations for having affirmed last October that the execution exceeded 30 million, when the liquidation of the budget shows that there were only 19. The mayor of the Treasury defended that the rule establishes that chapter VI (real investments) and VII ( capital transfers), whose sum reached 52% of execution. Former socialist mayor Patricia Hernández did not take the explanation for granted since, she recalled, “in that chapter VII goes the money that is advanced for the execution of work such as that of Valleseco or the ARRU and that does not mean that it has been spent.”
Hernández also pointed out that “this liquidation has come to prove us right when we said that the IMAS budget did not rise as much as they said, and what a coincidence that, between 2020 and 2021, that budget only grew 1.3 million, just the amount from the Concerted Plan of the Government of the Canary Islands”. Martínez defended that social services have had a sufficient budget, “and even has a remainder of 1.7 million.” The latter affirmation to which the mayor replied that “it is the same as saying that they were left unspent.”
Another ten million to face the payment of the OPA
n yesterday’s plenary session, a first budget modification was approved for the payment of Pending Payment Options (OPA) for 10 million euros, which means that in total, by the end of May, Santa Cruz will have already modified its budget by 29 million , almost the same amount as its remaining treasury, of which, on the other hand, the Controller has recommended that it not be executed in its entirety, since there are five million of the total of 26 that are still in question. As for the takeover bids, Martínez defended, they are mainly made up of the invoices for the month of December that arrived after the closing of the budget